The double standard is very obvious

Aaron Rodgers, photo courtesy of

The double standard is very obvious
November 24
14:30 2021

So … recently Aaron Rodgers had to miss a football game due to testing positive for COVID-19 and it was found out that he was not vaccinated after basically saying he was. I was curious to see what the response was going to be from social media and the world of sports. Needless to say, I was somewhat disappointed at what I heard about Rodgers in contrast to other athletes who are not vaccinated.

Rodgers was considered unvaccinated by the NFL and NFL Players Association and had to quarantine for 10 days, causing him to miss the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. In August when asked if he was vaccinated, Rogers said, “Yeah, I’ve been immunized.” That obviously was a flat out lie by Rodgers.

Rodgers says he didn’t lie about his status while making an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show. He said, “First of all, I didn’t lie in the initial press conference. During that time, it was a witch hunt that was going on across the league, where everybody in the media was so concerned about who was vaccinated and who wasn’t and what that meant and who was being selfish and who would talk about it, what it meant if they said it’s a personal decision and they shouldn’t have to disclose their own medical information.

“And at the time, my plan was to say that I have been immunized. It wasn’t some sort of ruse or lie. It was the truth, and I’ll get into the whole immunization in a second. But had there been a follow-up to my statement that I’ve been immunized, I would have responded with this: I would have said, ‘Look, I’m not some sort of anti-vax, flat-Earther. I am somebody who’s a critical thinker.’”

Come on now Aaron, there are some pretty smart people in the world, so talking around the answer and giving us some lame excuse doesn’t fly. To me, and I would assume most people feel the same way, he lied, period point blank. I thought he would have been blasted more for that, but no, not really. He confirmed that he received a treatment designed to raise his immunity and appealed to the NFL for that to be considered vaccinated, but lost that case.

Rodgers said he is allergic to an ingredient in two of the three approved vaccines. The vaccine by Johnson & Johnson does not contain that ingredient, but he said he was not comfortable taking it because of the reported side effects. I can understand his stance, but why not just say that during the press conference instead of lying? Or he could have just chosen not to answer at all. 

Other athletes have been criticized left and right for not being vaccinated and putting their team’s success in jeopardy. When the story hit the airwaves about Rodgers, it was much quieter. I am not saying that any of these athletes should be crucified in the media the way some of them were, because their vaccination status is their own business, but if you are going to criticize one, then criticize them all equally.

I remember a few months ago when Cam Newton was still a part of the New England Patriots organization, it was a well-known fact that he was not vaccinated. He even missed some practice time during the preseason due to COVID-19 protocols. He was eventually released by the Patriots before the start of the season and some say that his vaccination status played a role in that.

I remember reading articles and seeing shows on television where people were bashing Newton for not being vaccinated and saying it was his own fault for being released. He was also called uninformed and selfish for being one who did not get vaccinated. He definitely received more backlash than what I saw for others in a similar position.  

Newton wasn’t the only athlete to feel the wrath of not being vaccinated. Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets has not played this season due to the COVID-19 protocols set by the state of New York. He has not been able to even practice with the team until he is vaccinated.

“Given the evolving nature of the situation and after thorough deliberation, we have decided Kyrie Irving will not play or practice with the team until he is eligible to be a full participant,” Nets GM Sean Marks said in a statement. “Kyrie has made a personal choice, and we respect his individual rights to choose. Currently, the choice restricts his ability to be a full-time member of the team, and we will not permit any member of our team to participate with part-time availability.”

Irving was also called selfish for not taking the vaccine and uninformed because of his stance. The morning debate shows on the sports networks were throwing him all the way under the bus for possibly costing the Nets a chance at the NBA championship.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith has been very vocal about how he was displeased with Irving’s stance. He has gone as far to say that the Nets should cut Irving over his unwillingness to be vaccinated.  

“KD (Kevin Durant), you made the wrong decision bro, and here’s why: Because you trusted Kyrie. Kyrie Irving betrayed you. Flat out betrayed you. Left you hanging! And while you’re sitting up there getting your (expletive) kicked last night … Steph Curry sitting there shimmying and joking around, laughing on the court, there were cheering for Steph Curry in Brooklyn! From opening tap, they were chanting MVP in the Barclays Center, and it wasn’t for the dude averaging 28.9 points a game for the Brooklyn Nets, it was for Steph Curry.

“And then you juxtapose Steph Curry compared to Kyrie Irving, and what do you have? You’ve got Kyrie Irving who is a showstopper. Kyrie Irving who is a superstar talent. He is box office and can’t be trusted. I actually hope Kyrie Irving gets cut. I mean, this is a disgrace to sit up there and watch this team last night look like straight garbage. … Every respectable team you go up against waxes y’all behind. And why? Because KD don’t have no help. You’re left there all alone. You don’t have a culture. You don’t even have a damn fan base.”

I know that Smith’s claim to fame is his outlandish personality and off-the-wall comments, but this is a little too far in my opinion. Yes, we are all a little disappointed that Irving has not played this season, but to call for him to be cut is a bit too far. That man has the right to choose whether or not he wants to get vaccinated and whatever his reasons are shouldn’t matter to anyone else but him.

I didn’t like how Irving was vilified in the media by some; however, it seems when it comes to Rodgers, there is more understanding. I don’t get that and it doesn’t seem very fair, to be honest. What Rodgers did was a double whammy and if he comes back and wins a few games in a row, this will probably be all but forgotten. 

The same is probably not going to happen for Irving, sadly enough.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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